Monday, June 23, 2014

Marana, AZ Show

This was awhile ago now, but still sits in my mind as one of my most favourite days ever.
The first time I showed, I sort of lost my mind, forgot what a cow was & marked a 63. Which was a gift. 

So the second time I showed I went into the show pen with a specific goal, "I want to have clean herdwork." I felt that if I centered myself around one goal, it would help me focus on that, and remember... ya know.. how to ride.

I decided to enter a herdwork jackpot class, the objective of this class is to cleanly cut a cow from the herd and drive it up into the chalked square in the centre of the pen. I went out there on our cow-ey, but certainly not a cutting trained, turn back horse and marked a 72 to place second in the class. I was happy, and it was a good way to head into my next class of the day.

& the best part about our turn back horse? His registered name is "Chicks Dig Yellow" - how great is that!

Herdwork Jackpot
Video isn't the best quality, enlarge it to see better.

My next class of the day was the 2000 Limit Rider on one of our client's horses, Tulip. I've ridden Tulip a lot to get her ready to show, and at home before the client, or my boss has ridden it. However, i'd barely ridden her on cows at home. Despite that, I felt comfortable, and a lot more centered than the first time I showed.


2000 Limited Rider

There was just something about this run, Tulip worked amazing for me, I felt like I was riding better than I ever had before (... and some days it feels like better than I have since haha) & it all just fell into place. I ended up winning the class with a 74. I was beaming ear-to-ear.

Me, Tulip & her owner, Diane.

Marana was such a special day for me because it really reaffirmed for me that I love cutting, I want to show more and I only want to work more and more to get better. It also reaffirmed that I am working where I should be, who I should be working for, and surrounded by people that will only lift me up. It was a great feeling.

& getting my first two cheques wasn't so bad either!
=)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Two Horse Tack Beta-Biothane Halter!

 Natasha from Two Horse Tack contacted me to do a Product Review of her Beta-Biothane tack line. I was pretty excited as I have never dealt with Beta-Biothane, and heck - who doesn't love trying out new tack?!

I went with their Turnout Halter & Lead made from Beta-Biothane in the two-colour combination.
The website states that "it's the only halter you will ever need!" due to the fact it is super strong & made of easy to clean material. The halters feature double buckle crown pieces, easy on and off throat latch snaps, an option to purchase a breakaway leather crown piece, an optional matching lead and stainless steel hardware.

Beta-Biothane

A little more on Beta-Biothane: the website claims it to be more durable than nylon or leather. It also says that the color will stay true even after years of use, and to clean dirt around the stitching you can wash the tack in the washing machine! Finally, what I found interesting is that it doesn't absorb moisture or sweat like leather does, and the web coating serves as padding so it's comfortable for your horse.

So what did I think?

well first, let's all just say how cute my model for today Buster is. I went with the black halter with red on top, because ultimately (of course) this will be Jingle's halter and those are his colours!


Fit

I really liked the fit and feel of the halter on Buster. The snap throat latch and double buckled crown is a really nice addition, plus the roller clasps work really well with easy adjustment. I'm always in the market for tack that can easily adjust from one horse to another since we're constantly using our tack on different horses in our training operation. These halters definitely have that.


Function

For what I do, I would have preferred a rope lead, and will probably end up switching out the beta-biothane lead for a traditional rope lead. I like to be able to have a long line so I can lunge a small circle if I need too, and also I prefer to tie to poles/fence/etc. with rope.

I also wanted to test how easy this halter was to clean. So I found legitimately the only mud-pit in the desert, a very gross cess pool of wash-rack run off and literally drug this halter through the muck. All I did was hang it in our wash rack, quickly sprayed it off, and then left it to dry.


After an hour it was dry, and after a day of sitting outside it was slightly dusty, but otherwise like I had never gotten it dirty or left it outside. Pretty impressive. Unfortunately the desert dust really seemed to show up on the black, so next time I might go with a different colour. 

Overall...

Overall, I really like the halter and especially like the idea of the halter and the quick-clean Beta-Biothane. At our operation we have the "home halters" and the "show halters", the home halters take quite the beating - from having the horses tied up while their saddled, washed off after we work them, tied to the fences while they are turned out - they see a lot of the elements and show it. This material is way tougher, and way easier to clean, and would be a much better substitute to have a better looking, yet still cost-effective halter at home.


I'm pretty happy with my new little halter and can't wait to throw it on Jingle and see how he looks in it! (He will look adorable... obviously) Plus, speaking of Jingle, i'm mulling around the idea of possibly trying the two different styles of Side-Pulls that Two Horse Tack provides - and if I do end up trying them out of course I will let you guys know all about it!

Try it yourself!!

Finally, Natasha over at Two Horse Tack has offered up a coupon to my readers if you guys would like to try out some of their cool Beta-Biothane tack - don't miss out!!




Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Firsts: Starting Two Year Olds

This year we had two, two-year-olds to start. I have never ridden colts who have had less than 60 days on them so this was a bit of an experience for me.

For some reason this little colt gave me a run for my money when we started him. 

Stoney was sort of lazy, and would lean on me a lot, but he also had this weird unexpected nervous streak that would just show up randomly, and more than once I found myself in the dirt. 

Why? Probably because I was nervous, tense, and all bunched up on him all the time.

Unfortunately for chickens like me, one of the most sure-fire ways to stay on the back of a horse is to just relax. As my friend yelled to me one day as I was getting flung around the round-pen "You need to start acting WAY MORE DRUNK" because, when you are drunk, you're wobbling and relaxed!

I was not so relaxed.


By the time I finally got him going, he'd bucked me off numerous times. I had bruises every which way because of him. Now, his owner, who is all tense with him, rides him and he is quiet and not too fussed with anything. Jerk horse. It seems that I was legitimately this colt's punching-bag. Sigh.

Atleast he's good for his owner now...


Little bugger got it all out with me.

But, thankfully, we have another two year old that i'm getting along famously with...


Friday, June 6, 2014

Products I Love: Equomed Lumark Cold Compression Boots

I thought i'd start a new series of products I use regularly, whether it be at the cutting horse operation I work for, or just at home with Jingle.

First up is my my most favourite Iceboot in the whole wide world. I am not kidding, these are the best.

 They are the Equomed Lumark Cold Compression Boots.

These are the ice boots on one of our show-horses.

The reason I love these boots so much is that they are convenient, easy and work to effectively cool the leg. The boots have velcro backs that you can fasten frozen gel-packs too. You literally just take the gel packs from the freezer, press them onto the boot, and voila - you are ready to put the boot on the horse. From there, you use a small pump to inflate the boot which then compresses the cold against the leg. 

Here is a photo from the website showing someone pumping up the compression boots.

From the website, "The tighter the cold wrap can be fixed on the leg, the better is the cooling effect. Equomed-Lumark's Cold Compression Boots offer a unique method to deliver the cold directly to the horses skin. By using inflatable boots, the air compression will increase tight contact of the cold wrap to the horses legs and joints, compression effects to reduce swelling, and tight fit to keep the wraps in place."

Furthermore, unlike some ice technology the "cooling gel is made to stay over a certain freezing degree, so it can not burn or hurt a horse." Also if there's a hot point in a horses leg, once you take the boots off you can feel where that area had been, so it's easier to pinpoint areas of pain.

Finally, I've used lots of other types of Ice boot-esque technology. I've used the Professional's Choice Gel Packs that you wrap independently with a polo wrap, as well as multiple types of boots that you completely put into the freezer. The Gel Packs I felt were clumsy and hard to get perfect, while the boots that you freeze become so frozen they don't meld to the leg as well as these boots do because of the gel technology. Finally, although pricey, these boots are significantly cheaper and massively easier to use than cooling systems like Game Readys.


So, to summarize, they are my favourite because at shows, and at home, I am always looking for something convenient yet effective. These boots are all that and more. Easy to use, easy to transport, easy to switch gel-packs and use on multiple horses. They are all that & I highly recommend them. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A Long Time Gone... But, I am Back!

Life... is.... Good.

<Insert a hundred happy faces here>

They say no news is good news, which is probably why I've been so absent. But, lately, my mind keeps thinking it's time for me to come back to my ramblin' roots... so here's an update, and hopefully the first hello back of many more hellos (that come a little quicker than every 3 months...)

So, here is an update.

Arizona

Is getting hotter than hell. Oooo girl... this Canadian is BURNING up and, to quote the locals, "this ain't even all that bad." Well friends, it feels bad. However, other than the fact I can't rest my skin against any surface without breaking out into a dripping sweat, Arizona is treating me really, really well.

I got a dog, his name is Cash.




Who knew that a little fluffy girly-mutt dog could make my heart so fulfilled and happy? Cash is wonderful, he is goofy, sometimes disobedient, cuddly, funny, smiley... just great. He fancies himself quite the ranch dog... even though the sight of a poofy dog following behind me as I move cows around is a little amusing. He is my constant little shadow and I am happy to call him "my dog".

My job is fricken' wonderful

& there's this little two year old that I'm obsessed with.

Even when i'm complaining about my job I'm happy, it's sickening. I love my boss, I love our horses, I love our program. I LOVE how much I'm learning. I wake up, and fall asleep, feeling blessed to be riding cutting horses in Arizona whilst being surrounded by uplifting and amazing people.

I have officially shown - TWICE!




The first time I showed was a bit of a train wreck, resulting in a 63, the second time I learnt a couple valuable lessons and walked away with a FREAKIN' 75. 75s are truly what dreams are made of. It was in December of 2013 that I told my ex-Boss that I wanted to show by January 2015, only three months later I found myself showing for the first time. Dream chasing is a real thing, and I feel like the more I believe in myself, and the more I set my mind to something, the more the universe gives to me... it's amazing, and humbling.

I have a life here.

People from home come & visit! 
Everybody wants to escape to warm Arizona!!



When I was in Texas I was suffering from homesickness... terrible, dark homesickness. I went home for the holidays and wondered to myself if I could ever make a life for myself somewhere other than home. The homesickness I was feeling was a lot deeper than just being away from home for the first time, it was a homesickness that made me question leaving behind my roots, the physical place I loved so much, a friend group where I had finally cultivated happy healthy relationships, my family. It took awhile for me to fall into a rhythm here too, but once I did I settled right into what feels like a life. It's refreshing, a teeny bit scary, and I'm excited to see where it goes from here.



but then, there is always, my most beloved...

Home

Jingle. Plain & Simple.


I miss Jingle with my whole heart, I feel like my life is falling into place here but i'm just missing... and lacking.. this major piece. A few weeks ago my farrier gave me a call that my horse was a little unkempt and acting a little wild. Brigitte, my Best-friend, went out to groom him and remind him of manners and snapped this photo for me. He is so handsome <3. She also said he was squirrely through most of it, until she groomed his mane and tail. She said he seemed to remember all the time I've spent braiding him and grooming his mane and tail over the years. So cute. sigh. miss him so much.

But - this too is falling into place - i'm hoping come October I can get Jingle on a trailer and have him down here! Cannot wait for Jingle amongst the Cactus!!


Summer.


I am heading home for the summer - for July and August. I'm going to be part of the Stampede Ranch Girls again, and I plan to serve at my old restaurant so I can make some money to put into my savings. Finally, that means i'll get to spend more time with my boy - Jingle! It's bittersweet... I don't want to leave Arizona, but I need to get my affairs in order, and as the temperature creeps above 110 F I'm thinking the summer months are the prime time to leave. Besides, what's 60 days?

Happy to be back, and hoping to catch up with all of you. :)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

My New Blog: The Circuitous Cutter

Dun Dun Dun...

Here is my new blog & I have posted my first post tonight!


www.circuitouscutter.blogspot.com



The Circuitous Cutter, for me, is a lot more anonymous, is a lot more silly, and is totally focused on my day-to-day life as a loper in the cutting horse industry. I hope you find it funny, I hope the posts make you laugh at the depravity, and I hope you follow.

Those are the only things I can hope for :) & don't worry, my long winded rambling personal posts will stay here, they aren't leaving any time soon!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New & Old & In-Between.

My "Year in Review" post took me a very long time to write.

Actually, it didn't, it just took me a really time to finish.

What happened was that I began to write, and as I did, I was catapulted back into last years winter. Last winter was not a good one for my pony, Jingle, and I. Jingle and I were in a lesson program that was simply not working for my horse and his brain. We had some tiny accomplishments here and there, but for the most part, almost all of my lessons were becoming increasingly and increasingly frustrating. I was reading all those words I wrote last year, and suddenly... I didn't want to write anymore.

& I was really sad, and I really missed my horse.

Finally, a month later, and at the urging of some friends, I sat down, opened up my Macbook and began writing again - vowing to get it done in one night. Then a funny thing happened, I began going through last year, and I began remembering how truly amazing and blessed last year really was. It was a complete and utter whirlwind year. It was a year of change, growth and happiness. It was a year surrounded by good friends and even better horses. It was a year I closed a very significant chapter of my life (university), and then diverged onto a new path into the horse industry. Finally, to top it all off, it was a wonderful year spent with the love of my life. My most beloved thing in the entire world, my horse Jingle.

But, even after hitting "publish" on that behemoth post, I still really missed my horse. I am still hoping and attempting to figure out a way to get Jingle down to Arizona, but it is not happening in the foreseeable future.

So now it comes down to this blog. For me, "Time in the Saddle" is a very personal blog. It is more about my journey, the issues I face and the things I witness in my own person day-to-day. "Time in the Saddle" is a lifestyle encompassing blog. Also, "Time in the Saddle", really reminds me of Jingle... which in the end was kind of why I was hiding from the blog.

Now, I am back, and I am going to keep posting my long, wordy, sometimes boring posts. They are still going to be entirely overly personal, sometimes they will be random, and the blog wont really driven by anything topic-wise... but me!

However, I have cooked up a new blog... which I am very excited about.. and will announce in my next post. Stay Tuned! :)